Guest Post – Total Fire Services
When it comes to fire hazards, we cannot leave anything to chance and need to have the right procedures in place both for risk assessment as well as safety evacuation plans.
The very purpose of having these is to ensure that your staff is able to evacuate the premises promptly and securely.
The best way to begin is to first go in for a thorough fire risk assessment of your business or company and use a checklist to ensure you have all the right parameters in place.
Some of the essential steps are as follows:
- Identify potential fire hazard areas at your workplace. You need to be aware as to what could lead to a possible fire breaking out and what materials fall in the high risk category of inflammable materials.
- An area that poses a high risk of a fire hazard is the smoking zones on any property. Also heavy electrical equipment which produces flames or sparks, heaters etc. need to be evaluated. Poorly maintained or faulty electrical equipment also need to be assessed as they come in the high risk category. So do storage areas and cardboard or wood cartons stored on the property.
- You need to be aware of the people who will be at risk which include your employees, contract staff and even visitors. Also if there are employees who work in secluded parts of the property and whether they all will be able to hear a fire alarm and have access to safety exits. Pay special attention to the physically challenged and elderly staff that might lack agility.
- Maintain an updated record of all your findings and ensure that the exits are well marked and easily accessible. The stairways need to easily accessible to all, in case the lifts are not working. Also remember to do your fire assessments on a regular basis preferably every quarter to be well prepared in the event of a fire emergency. You could engage the services of a professional fire assessment team to facilitate the process.
Remember that fire evacuation drills are mandatory by law and need to be done on a regular basis. Some of the essentials of a fire evacuation drill are:
- Every employee must be trained and aware of their role in a fire situation. This needs to be carried out both at night as well as in the daytime (if you have night shifts). The entire process has to be done seriously and in entirety so that it can be done correctly in an emergency.
- The staff must be briefed and trained on using different types of fire extinguishers for different kinds of fires. All new staff must be trained at the time of induction.
- Before a fire drill, carry out a safety check especially with new staff. All exit routes must be clear and should be easily accessible without any obstacles or impediments in the path.
- In case of inclement weather do not delay the roll call and get it over with at the earliest so that the staff do not have to remain out too long in the cold or wet weather.
Fire safety is vital in any business or home; make sure you do not neglect the seriousness of carrying out full risk assessments and fire plans.
Total Fire Services have years experience providing the most comprehensive fire risk assessments to premises across the UK. As a BAFE approved service, they are proud to have been recognised for the quality of their work. Fire safety and providing peace of mind is their number one priority.